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NARUC Launches New Resources for Lifeline Awareness Week: September 9-13
WASHINGTON (September 6, 2019) — The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners will recognize the Annual Lifeline Awareness Week campaign September 9-13. Since 2009, NARUC, state regulatory commissions, the Federal Communications Commission and the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates have designated the first week after Labor Day as a time to build more awareness around the Lifeline program.
New this year are two helpful resources that explain the benefits and key aspects of Lifeline. The first is an animated video, Lifeline: It’s a Life Changer, and the second is The Lifeline Benefit infographic. Also, as of July 2019, the National Verifier, a centralized database that verifies Lifeline subscriber eligibility, conducts checks to prevent duplicate benefits, recertifies subscriber eligibility and calculates support payments to eligible telecommunications carriers, is now fully launched in 27 states and territories. Links to the new resources and the National Verifier are available on NARUC’s website at http://bit.ly/NARUCLifeline.
As part of its Lifeline advocacy, NARUC passed a resolution at its July 2019 Summer Policy Summit on the Lifeline national verifier launch and minimum service standards, which addresses maintaining the full $9.25 support for voice service instead of eliminating or phasing down voice service and also urges the FCC to freeze the broadband minimum service standards for Lifeline at the December 2018 levels: 2 GB per month/household at $9.25 until the FCC concludes its 2021 Lifeline Study to determine an appropriate standard based on usage data available at that time.
“Lifeline can provide positive benefits to millions of Americans and can help change lives,” said NARUC President Nick Wagner, a member of the Iowa Utilities Board. ”The program provides qualifying low-income consumers access to voice and/or broadband services, which are vital links to crucial emergency health care, government services and employment.”
NARUC encourages all interested parties to follow its social media posts using the hashtag #LifelineAwarenessWeek throughout the week.
NARUC is a non-profit organization founded in 1889 whose members include the governmental agencies that are engaged in the regulation of utilities and carriers in the fifty States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. NARUC's member agencies regulate telecommunications, energy, and water utilities. NARUC represents the interests of State public utility commissions before the three branches of the Federal government.